UNEP and RES4Africa trained a delegation of African Women Energy Entrepreneurs at Micro-Grid Academy in Nairobi

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The Micro-Grid Academy (MGA) is a regional capacity building platform based in Nairobi, Kenya, that provides theoretical and practical training on energy access and decentralised renewable energy solutions to young East-African and international technicians, entrepreneurs and engineers.The project is a joint initiative between RES4Africa, Kenya Power Lighting Company (KPLC), AVSI Foundation, Strathmore University and St. Kizito VTI.

As stated by Saverio Frullani, RES4Africa Project Coordinator, the MGA aims to enhance access to energy in rural communities fostering local enterprise and job creation, while positively impacting health and education services, female empowerment, climate change mitigation, reliable water and food production and energy security, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The training activities will be supported by a real 30 kW hybrid mini-grid to be installed on-site thanks to the contribution of RES4Africa members.

Last week from 4 to 14 April 2018, the MGA held its second training course, hosting 40 students from East-Africa and Europe, including 20 women selected by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) within the Africa Women Energy Entrepreneurs Framework (AWEEF), a platform that empowers women entrepreneurs as main stakeholders across the energy value chain. The course gathered enthusiastic participants working in the energy sector providing a series of lectures with experts in the field coming from the local utility Kenya Power Lighting Company (KPLC), AVSI Foundation, St. Kizito VTI, Strathmore University, Enel Foundation, SIGORA and Sapienza University of Rome.

The topics discussed had a particular focus on entrepreneurship and clean energy access, both of central importance to the sustainable development of rural communities, as highlighted by the UN SDGs. Complementing the lectures, the agenda included a visit to the UN Headquarters exploring the role of renewable energy within UNEP, UNIDO and UN Habitat programs, as well a field trip to the Talek Town mini-grid implemented by GIZ. To enhance learning possibilities, the MGA took the students to the laboratories of St. Kizito VTI and Strathmore Energy Research Centre (SERC) for hands-on training and testing. Students had the chance to directly experience many aspects surrounding mini-grid implementation, from planning and development to operation and maintenance of the plants. The course was sponsored by Enel Foundation and Tecnologie Solidali Onlus.

As a managerial and technical course coupled with practical training, the MGA aims to fully launch a series of capacity building activities by 2019, training at least 300 students per year, looking to form future professionals in the sector and positively impact all areas involved in the sustainable development of local rural communities. RES4Africa is currently seeking funding opportunities from external institutions and private actors.

For more information please contact:

Saverio Frullani
RES4Africa Project Coordinator